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post #41 of 64
And as far as "real camera" features in digital cameras - well first of all digital cameras ARE real cameras. The only real difference is the media the image is recorded to. Good digital cameras, which are getting cheaper every day, give you a lot of control.

My camera, a Fuji FinePix S602Z, gives you control over very nearly every aspect. It has an actual focus ring and you can set the focus completely manually that way, it has an ISO range of 100 to 1600, in Macro mode it can focus on objects as close as .4" away, f-stop from 2.8 to 11, shutter speed from 15 seconds down to 1/10,000 of a second. It also features focus lock and exposure lock for taking a number of shots under the same conditions, it has a continuous shot mode where it will take as many as 5 shots per second depending on shutter speed obviously.

It has a hot shoe on top, you can switch the LCD display into the viewfinder which is nice if you can't see the screen because of glare or something. It has a lot of operational modes, like Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority in addition to full manual mode, where you can set everything manually.

Pretty cool stuff, and you never have to buy or develop film again. This particular camera has both a SmartMedia slot and a CompactFlash Type II slot, which can take any kind of CF card or an IBM Microdrive.

For what it's worth, I work for one of the country's biggest newspapers, and our photo department went digital over a year ago. We don't use film at all any more and we couldn't be happier about it, it's much easier this way. Our photographers in the Middle East can shoot a couple hundred pictures on a single card, offload them to their TiBooks and remote in via satellite. Pictures can go from the camera in Baghdad to our photo dept in a matter of minutes - a real advantage when you're a newspaper.

Even our in-house photo studio is all digital. The camera is hooked up via Firewire directly to a G4 at a desk in the corner of the room - take a picture, and it shows up on the Mac seconds later. I only mention it as an example of professional photographers who have moved to digital and wouldn't go back to film if you doubled their paychecks.
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post #42 of 64
sorry, CCD?
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post #43 of 64
Anyone out there using the Olympus C50. Been looking at that one in the stores and seems pretty nice. I like the size and has a better zoom that the Canon Elph. Anyone out there using it yet?
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post #44 of 64
I'm coming from an Olympus 460 and I loved taking pics without flash in lowlight situations to give them that very slightly blurry look but nice warm colors.

The Sony P9 takes FOREVER to take a pic with little light and therfore are very blurry.

I havent played with aperture yet (can you?) and the ISO only goes to 400.

Hmm... I may look into getting an Olympus again if they are small AND have video features (I *LOVE* being able to take 320x240 MPEGs with audio on the Sony).

Any suggestions?

PS, Xaqtly, what is your satellite upload proceedure? Do you just use a sat phone? I just started in the satellite industry and are creating sreamline solutions, among other things, for using satellites to upload video and anything digital from... anywhere. email me at zo66 AT mac.com if you can... would love some insight to this.


ZO
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post #45 of 64
a quick look at the current Olympus cameras tells me that they suck (in regards to features). 15sec max movies, no audio, no rechargable batteries (I hate buying tons of AA batteries), low ISO settings. Plus, even their super consumer cameras are huge (compared to a P9).

Yeesh, they really havent changed THAT much since I bought my 460 in Summer 2000.

Any other recommendations (aside from Sony and Olympus?). Does Nikon compare well to Sony for features and size?
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post #46 of 64
Nikon looks boring as well as the fact that I cant find a single one of their cameras that does movie clips with Audio (and more than 15sec).

The only contender I seem to find is the Canon Digital Ixus v2. Also good price. Does audio with its movies and seems to be limited only by size of card memory. VERY small and 2MP is good for what I do. Am happy with 1.3MP.

Hmmm... P9 or IXUS2?
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post #47 of 64
I'm in the market now for a digital camera. It's a joint venture between the gf and myself, and she definitely wants the little movie feature.

I see no need for anything above 2MP, I'll never print anything bigger than 8x10.

That Canon A40 is looking pretty good.

Also looking at the Fuji FinePix 2800 or 3800.

[ 01-10-2003: Message edited by: groverat ]</p>
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post #48 of 64
I got the canon a40 about a month ago and I'd say it had a pretty good balance between auto and manual options and you can fit a helluva lot of pics and movies on 64MB card. I managed to cram about 120 pics and 6 movies on at once.
post #49 of 64
[quote] the CCD will pick up more noise. What you are calling grain is that noise. <hr></blockquote>

[quote] sorry, CCD? <hr></blockquote>

The CCD, Charge Coupling Device, is the actual 'film' of the camera. It basically is a chip with many little windows on it, and those windows will return a value between 0-255 depending on how much light hits them.

There are several different advances on this format, from a CMOS arrangement by Canon (I think) to a new arrangement of sensors on the Sigma (New camera)

You can find out more about the capabilities of different cameras by giong to <a href="http://www.dpreview.com." target="_blank">www.dpreview.com.</a> I believe you can also do side by side comparisons there.

I experience lag on my camera (Nikon CP 990) if it is a low light situation, and the focusing goes all wonky in real dark situations (I play with night photography and light painting) but thankfully this camera has very complete manual control.

I have also taken to using the Slow Flash feature when taking indoor pictures, which opens the apeture a little longer after the flash goes off the get more detail in the background. I have also purchased a small slave flash which I have used on occason to freeze something in the frame. And discovered a little trick of using a bit of exposed film over the camera flash to drive the slave without getting too much light.

The only real limitation I find is I thought I could take photographs and control the camera from the computer. I used to have a Kodak DC260 which allowed this, and I was flabbergasted the Nikon Coolpix could not.

My next camera will no doubt be a more professional model so I can do this, and see the actual image on a 12 inch powerbook screen, confirming the color and sharpness. Hopefully it will also be one which takes different lenses...

&gt;Editted to talk about flashes and their misuse&lt;

[ 01-10-2003: Message edited by: nosey ]</p>
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post #50 of 64
is there anyways to get a dark picture with out it getting noisy?

i mean would keeping the ISO 50 instead of 400 with a 15second shutter speed reduce noise?
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post #51 of 64
Nope. The noise is always going to be prevalent because of the nature of the chip. The new chip by Sigma reduces noise, but it will always be there in some amount.

And the higher the ISO the better when it comes to noise in darker shots.

One way you can try to reduce noise is by blurring the red channel slightly after the picture has been transferred to the computer. The red channel is the one which gets the most noise (If you have photoshop, check the various channels and you will see what I mean) This is by no means a perfect way to do it.

With film, the higher ISO meant the more capable the film was in low light situations. I think it also made the picture a bit grainier. Some people go for that effect...

&gt;Editted to add the 'at night'&lt;

[ 01-10-2003: Message edited by: nosey ]</p>
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post #52 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by nosey:
<strong>Nope. The noise is always going to be prevalent because of the nature of the chip. The new chip by Sigma reduces noise, but it will always be there in some amount.

And the higher the ISO the better when it comes to noise in darker shots.

</strong><hr></blockquote>

hmm.. I'm going to disagree here.

The ISO sets the sensitivity of the camera (or film, as the case may be). Think of it in terms of gain, or signal-to-noise ratio. Setting the ISO to 400 means the camera will take in more light at the expense of more noise.

Setting it at 100 means less light, but less noise. Then do what normal photographers do-- increase the duration of the shutter (as per the example of 15 ms) to allow more light.

Obviously using something like a tripod becomes mandatory, and the subject shouldn't move so much.
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post #53 of 64
&gt;shrug&lt; I guess. It all depends on the light situation...

1. If you are trying to photograph something in the dark of a city, where there is a lot of light pllution, you will get stray photons, which will affect your picture, if you keep the shutter open too long.

2. If you are going to be using a flash, then you don't necessarily want a wide open apeture as this will affect the light reflected back at you, especially if the flash is on the camera (any reflections will be twice as noticable)

3. If it is full moonlight and there is snow, you will still end up with a lot of bouncing photons whcih will mean you want as fast a shutter speed as you can.

Regardless of what one person says, or another argues with, the camera model and its own inbuilt idiosyncracies will determine which is the best way to take darker shots.

The only thing I can suggest is to experiment... a lot... and learn to read the EXIF data to decide which pictures worked well, and the secret formula which made them work that way. Then (if your camera allows) set a preset before you go out to take pictures. If not, then set up your camera the way you think it will work best for what you have in mind and go out there and do it.

Use a tripod, and a remote if you have one. Any movement on the camera will affect the image.

Try to bracket your shot if you have the time (and the subject isn't moving) and take a bunch of pictures... It's not like they are costing you anything.

Practice, practice, practice, and learn what best works for you and your camera.
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post #54 of 64
I like to buy a Nikon Coolpix 5700, but there's just no way I'm shelling out that kind of money for a 5MP camera without a Firewire port.
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post #55 of 64
That's a very good call. I find it a real bother to download images right now from the camera to the computer.

I really wish someone would release a firewire card reader for Compact Flash. Now that would be a real asset. I don't have a charger for the 990, and it takes battery juice to download. A card reader (especially one powered by the firewire port) would make that chore much easier.

Editted because I put charger instead of card reader (tired... must rest now)

[ 01-11-2003: Message edited by: nosey ]</p>
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post #56 of 64
Actually, I am pretty sure that lower ISO will always give you less noise. The whole idea of lowering the sensitivity is that each photon has less of an effect. This means that, to get the same exposure, you have to average over more photons. The central limit theorum says that, as you average over more and more photons you get closer to the true expected value that pixel.
post #57 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by nosey:
<strong>&gt;shrug&lt; I guess. It all depends on the light situation...
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Sorry. I guess I was unclear. I was commenting regarding this statement:

[quote]<strong>
And the higher the ISO the better when it comes to noise in darker shots.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Maybe I'm not sure what you meant here, so I'm just going to make general statements.

&lt;pretending to know what I'm talking about&gt;
The ISO refers to the film's sensitivity to light. Numerically higher means more sensitive to light. This means, for example, that ISO 400 is twice as sensitive to light as ISO 200. This is equivalent to one f-stop.

However, the trade off for this sensitivity is more noise. In film, this is the "graininess" of the film. For digital camera, more noise in the photo.
&lt;/stop pretending now&gt;

How you want to take photos in the dark is your choice. I take night photos with a cheap point-and-shoot camera all the time. Here's my current home town, for example.

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post #58 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by Frank777:
<strong>I like to buy a Nikon Coolpix 5700, but there's just no way I'm shelling out that kind of money for a 5MP camera without a Firewire port.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Ah... Firewire, you say?

Then can I interest you in a manly man's camera, perhaps:

<a href="http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos1ds/" target="_blank">Canon EOS-1Ds</a>

Now, sir, this is a camera. No mamby-pamby cameras like previously mentioned. Firewire? It's in there. 5MP? Try more like 11MP. Try 36x24mm sensor size— almost one-to-one with 35 mm film.

The price, you ask? Well, if you have to ask...

[edit: extraneous apostrophe. I hate those...]

[ 01-11-2003: Message edited by: GardenOfEarthlyDelights ]</p>
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post #59 of 64
[quote]Originally posted by Aquatic:
<strong>Understood. I'll have to practice secretly fiddling with my camera so no one notices I'm going to get good blackmail shots... &lt;img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" /&gt;</strong><hr></blockquote>

You should also try one of the modes that let you take a series of pictures while holding down the shutter.
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post #60 of 64
there are firewire card reader...lexar makes one
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post #61 of 64
well my shutter goes from 15 to 1/1500 seconds

my ISO is from 50-400

what would you suggest for DARK indoors shooting a lit up object, either LED's or a cabinet
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post #62 of 64
Low ISO and long shutter speed to get the least noise.
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post #63 of 64
[quote] And the higher the ISO the better when it comes to noise in darker shots. <hr></blockquote>
[quote] hmm.. I'm going to disagree here. <hr></blockquote>
Hmmm... You are right... I think I see where I made my mistake.

Cameras offer the higher ISO's to mimic films settings, to produce a better lit image without affecting any other settings. Correct?

Using a higher ISO will cause more noise because the film (CCD) is more sensitive to light. Correct?

To get less noise one would choose a lower ISO and keep the shutter open for a longer period of time. You would not have to change the length of time if you used a higher ISO. Right so far?

So yeah, you are right... to get less noise, don't use whatever tool the camera gave you to allow you to use your regular settings with less light, but adjust your shutter speed and aperture accordingly to get the best result.

In the long run, I don't usually go into so much detail to try to figure it out when I am doing it. I just point, click, examine, adjust, point, click, examine, adjust until I have ten or fifteen shots (depending on what the pictures look like between shots, and how many angles I need) until I have something clear and relatively sharp.

This is an 8 second exposure, ISO400, f2.8. I needed the light to be local (no flash) and while the people did move, it worked for the purposes I needed. A flash would have frozen it much better, but that was not an option at the time (I didn't discover 'slow flash' until much later. I had only had the camera 5 days here.) {Notice... the most obvious noise is on the person with the red jacket?}



Editted third time to FIX THE BLASTED IMAGE! grr... the fourth time to mention the jacket, and the fifth time to add the second quote, which referenced the first quote, which was written after doing a long boring night shift and damn near falling asleep on the keyboard....

[ 01-12-2003: Message edited by: nosey ]</p>
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post #64 of 64
i'll try those things out, thanks
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